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Don’t know why war is being prolonged: Aka

Don’t know why war is being prolonged: Aka

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Oct 13, 2020 - 15:06

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Seventy-year-old Noor Mohammad Aka from southern Kandahar province is yearning for an end to war and return to his native district of Registan.

Noor Mohammad, displaced due to insecurity years ago, has been longing for peace. He is wondering why the conflict is being perpetuated.

In an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, he said conflict and insecurity in his district forced him from his home to the Khamir Qala area of Maiwand district.

He spent some time there, But fighting once again forced him to move to the Dasht locality of Zherai district along with his extended family.

Aka has been living with a 35-member family in the area for years. He and his family are faced with a whole host of problems and privations.

He said there were only three able-bodied men who could work. But they spend day and night away from home to eke out a living for their family. But to no avail.

While narrating the story of how war has made life miserable for him, he recalled: “We lived happily in Registan, where we owned cattle. But the war has taken everything away from us. We left our home, village and sold our animals at thruway prices and moved to Maiwand district.”

They had hardly spent a year residing in the area when fighting broke out and they were forced into fleeing yet again to another place.

The man said: “A year ago, a fierce clash took place between police and Talibaninfo-icon. We were trapped in the middle of the clash. My wife and my brother’s four children were injured. In the still of the night, we fled and took the injured to Kandahar City for medical treatment.”

They did not return to Maiwand and stayed in Zherai district instead. They have been living there for years in the hope that peace would be established one day and they would go back to their home.

The war-displaced man called on the warring parties, especially the Taliban, to take mercy on their countrymen and help restore peace to the country.

Aka is tired of living in the midst of multiple problems and wants to go back to his ancestral home. However, he acknowledged, it would be possible only when war was brought to an end and peace restored.

“More than any other Afghan, my optimism about peace had grown. But as the war intensifies and people are displaced, I feel quite underwhelmed. How long will this war go on and we will continue to be killed? if the Taliban really want peace, why have they resumed fighting,” he asked.

He added he prayed for peace day and night, but his prayers had not been granted yet. Aka is not the only Afghan displaced by war. Thousands of families have fled their homes over the past 20 years and the process continues.

In recent months, hundreds of families have migrated from the restive districts of Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces to Kandahar City.

Abdul Wase, along with his seven family members, was recently displaced from the Gizab district of Uruzgan to Kandahar City. They are living in a ruined structure passing for home.

He told Pajhwok, like millions of other Afghans, he was happy with the beginning of the intra-Afghan peace talks. He hoped for a ceasefire and an end to decades of conflict.

Unfortunately, however, a fresh round of fighting erupted in the district and they were forced to flee their homes. “If the Taliban and the government are really sincere in making peace, then why have they intensified war in some areas?” he asked.

Wase informed thousands of families from different provinces and district had been migrated in Kandahar, whose homes hand been destroyed in the conflict and airstrikes and are living a miserable life.

He called on both sides to stop fighting and show compassion towards the long-suffering nation. Other war-displaced people held similar views.

The Kandahar Refugee and Repatriation Department estimates 70,000 to 85,000 households have moved to the southern province in recent years due to fighting and insecurity.

Families from 18 provinces, including Helmand and Uruzgan and 10 insecure districts of Kandahar, have taken refuge in Kandahar City.

But officials warn that given the current security situation in Kandahar and neighbouring provinces, about 10,000 families could be displaced this year.

Dost Mohammad Naib, head of the refugee department, told Pajhwok hundreds of families were displaced recently from the insecure districts of Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces.

He called peace an intense desire of the people. As soon as peace is restored, the man and his family will return to their home in Registan.

This report has been produced by Pajhwok and financially supported by UNDP and Denmark.

sa/mud

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